Hurdled through life, we sometimes forget to take a deep breath and rethink about our roadmap. High School just ended, we are 18-19 years old, and we almost automatically gear up and head to a four-year college experience. Parents are afraid to steer off this mainstream highway, worrying that once off, it would be more difficult to “get back on track”. Teens play along, wanting to follow their friends and match expectations rather than appear “different” or like outsiders.
Unfortunately, young adults sometimes pay a heavy price when they are hurdled into college for the wrong reasons or when unprepared. From anxiety and depression, through social isolation or conflicts, and even self-medication and self-harming behaviors, many young college students struggle greatly and find themselves on the sidelines either barely hanging in or failing to manage the unrealistic expectations they are facing. Some are already home, trying to regroup and figure out their next move. Others may be experiencing an escalating crisis, ashamed and afraid to admit defeat.
What can be done to help?
Now, that most likely some trauma and disappointment were added to the mix, it is high time to take a break for some self-care. Being at home job hunting is not enough. Instead, turning this crisis into an opportunity and a blessing in disguise can offer true healing and a real sense of direction and growth. Here are some of the major tasks at hand:
1. Learn more about yourself as a young adult: revisit your past, build your present
2. Learn more coping skills – regain a sense of competency
3. Find meaning – your meaning and possibly a sense of purpose
4. Learn independent living skills with positive self-regulation
5. Learn to function and live with others – collaborate, contribute, co-live
6. Open your mind and heart to new experiences, new ideas, new cultures..
7. Develop a game plan for your next steps – have ownership